J1 visa lawyer for a waiver - Do you really need it?
Updated: Feb 8
Are you looking for the best J1 visa lawyers near you because you are subjected to 2-year home residency requirement 212(e) and you need a J1 waiver? There is no need for a J1 waiver lawyer. I'm writing this blog because I keep getting this question from readers.
This post is specifically written for Indian J1 visa holders. Still, I have known a lot of people from different countries who did it by themselves but you are the right person to decide what you want to do since everyone has different cases. I have already mentioned the steps to obtain a J1 waiver in detail in my blogs.
Related post: How to obtain a J1 waiver
I will still share the list of known J1 visa lawyers who can help you with the J1 waiver application but please read this article before you waste money 💰.
Why you should NOT hire a lawyer for a J1 waiver?
No matter which lawyer you hire, or how much the J1 waiver attorney fee is, you have to personally spend time on getting a J1 waiver.
You have to physically go or send someone on your behalf to the government offices in India in order to get clearance certificates (No Objection Certificates). Lawyers can not do that for you.
Lawyers will only guide you with the J1 waiver application and review your documents (which is doable yourself). Why you wanna pay for that provided you require some legal considerations?
J1 waiver paperwork is not complicated as filing a green card (specifically EB1a), which needs good documentation and you definitely need a lawyer there.
Basically, getting a J1 waiver is a lengthy process but the J1 visa waiver lawyer is not going to do the physical work for you which is most importantly needed to get a waiver.
Let me give you an example, definitely you know the situation of government offices in India, and that too a regional state office. It's not like a DMV appointment in the United States where you book some time or just walk in. Well, the DMV office is not a good example but I am trying to give you a picture. DMV offices are considered one of the most unwelcoming places in the United States.
Related post: How to file Green Card
J1 waiver attorney fee is high, and it will cost you a lot of bucks. Why don't just save it for some good work? I have gone through the J1 waiver process myself, hence sharing my experience.
I am NOT telling anyone to follow my path but just giving people some guidance since this process gets complicated. I am not a lawyer but I was a J-1 visa holder (a research scholar) who was subjected to the 2-year residency rule (like you) and who went through this painful process.
OK, what's the process for getting a J1 waiver?
Thank you for making up your mind and understanding. Hopefully, I can save some J1 waiver attorney fees for you.
I am going to guide you through the end-to-end process for getting a J1 waiver and even help you with questions, or any doubts. I am already doing that with my published blogs, you can refer to this blog, there are hundreds of people discussing like you, and helping each other.
On a high level, the following are the steps involved and the duration taken in each step. The duration may vary since no one can predict any accurate timing but you can glance at my timeline here.
I have provided a link for each step and if you follow it, you will easily get your J1 waiver. People keep asking me, should we hire a lawyer, and I keep denying it BUT AGAIN you are the best person to decide for your case since everyone's case is different and someone might need a lawyer. If you are in a similar situation as I am hoping this blog will help you.
Filling out the NORI (no objection to return to India) form, you can download those from your respective consulate journal of India (CGI) websites and get it notarized from UPS/banks. Along with supporting documents sending it to your respective CGI, they will sign and stamp it provided all the documentation is correct
1 week (I went to CGI in person)
Getting no objection certificates from the following:
1. Regional passport office (RPO)
2. MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource and Development), this process is online
3. Department of home state in India
7-8 months (I only needed clearance from MHRD & Department of Home State, Lucknow, UP)
Completing the DS-3035 form online and sending it to the Department of State (DOS) and your respective CGI
List of lawyers
These are the best J1 waiver lawyers whom I know and you will be very comfortable working with them as far as you use their paid service.
Note: I am not benefitting (💰💰) or anything from these lawyers by listing their names. I am sharing these names based on my personal experience.
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